Horse breeding is reproduction in horsesand particularly the human-directed process of selective breeding of animals, particularly purebred horses of a given breed. Planned matings can be used to produce specifically desired characteristics in domesticated horses. Furthermore, modern breeding management and technologies can increase the rate of conception, a healthy pregnancy, and successful foaling. The male parent a horse, a stallionis commonly known as the sire and the female parent, the mareis called the dam.
Both are genetically important, as each parent provides half of the genetic makeup of the ensuing offspring, called a foal. Contrary to popular misuse, "colt" refers to a young male horse only; "filly" is a young female. Though many horse owners may simply breed a family mare to a local stallion in order to produce a companion animal, most professional breeders use selective breeding to produce individuals of a given phenotypeor breed.
Alternatively, a breeder could, using individuals of differing phenotypes, create a new "Intimidating man appaloosa stud books" with specific characteristics.
A horse is "bred" where it is foaled born. Thus a colt conceived in England but foaled in the United States is regarded as being bred in the US.
Some breeds denote the country, or state, where conception took place as the origin of the foal. Similarly, the "breeder", is the person who owned or leased the mare at the time of foaling. That individual may not have had anything to do with the mating of the mare. In the horse breeding industry, the term "half-brother" or "half-sister" only describes horses which have the same dam, but different sires. The terms paternal half-sibling, and maternal half-sibling are also often used.
Three-quarter siblings are horses out of the same dam, and are by sires that are either half-brothers i. Thoroughbreds and Arabians are also classified through the "distaff" or direct female line, known as their "family" or "tail Intimidating man appaloosa stud books line, tracing back to their taproot foundation bloodstock or the beginning of their respective stud books.
The female line of descent always appears at the bottom of a tabulated pedigree and is therefore often known as the bottom line. It also is sometimes used as a euphemism for the practice of inbreeding Intimidating man appaloosa stud books, a practice that is generally frowned upon by horse breeders, though used by some in an attempt to fix certain traits. The estrous cycle also spelled oestrous controls when a mare is sexually receptive toward a stallion, and helps to physically prepare the mare for conception.
It generally occurs during the spring and summer months, although some mares may be sexually receptive into the late fall, and is controlled by the photoperiod length of the daythe cycle first triggered when the days begin to lengthen. The estrous cycle lasts about 19—22 days, with the average being 21 days. As the days shorten, the mare returns to a period when she is not sexually receptive, known as anestrus. Anestrus — occurring in the majority of, but not all, mares — prevents the mare from conceiving in the winter months, that would result in her foaling during the harshest part of the year, a time when it would be most difficult for the foal to survive.
Changes in hormone levels can have great effects on the physical characteristics of the reproductive organs of the mare, thereby preparing, or preventing, her from conceiving. The cycle is controlled by several hormones which regulate the estrous cycle, the mare's behavior, and the reproductive system of the mare. The cycle begins when the increased day length causes the pineal gland to reduce the levels of melatoninthereby allowing the hypothalamus to secrete GnRH.
While horses in the wild mate and foal in mid to late spring, in the case of horses domestically bred for competitive purposes, especially horse racingit is desirable that they be born as close to January 1 in the northern hemisphere or August 1 in the southern hemisphere as possible,  so as to be at an advantage in size and maturity when competing against other horses in the same age group.
When an early foal is desired, barn managers will put the mare "under lights" by keeping the barn lights on in the winter to simulate a longer day, thus bringing the mare into estrus sooner than she would in nature. Mares signal estrus and ovulation by urination in the presence of a stallion, raising the tail and revealing the vulva.
A stallion Intimidating man appaloosa stud books, approaching with a high head, will usually nicker, nip and nudge the mare, as well as sniff her urine to determine her readiness for mating.
Once fertilized, the oocyte egg remains in the oviduct for approximately 5. The initial single cell combination is already dividing and by the time of entry into the uterus, the egg might have already reached the blastocyst stage.
The gestation period lasts for about eleven months, or about days normal average range — days. During the early days of pregnancy, the conceptus is mobile, moving about in the uterus until about day 16 when "fixation" occurs.
Shortly after fixation, the embryo proper so called up to about 35 days will become visible on trans-rectal ultrasound about day 21 and a heartbeat should be visible by about day After the formation of the endometrial cups and early placentation is initiated 35—40 days of gestation the terminology changes, and the embryo is referred to as a fetus. True implantation "Intimidating man appaloosa stud books" invasion into the endometrium of any sort — does not occur until about day 35 of pregnancy with the formation of the endometrial cups, and true placentation formation of the placenta is not initiated until about day and not completed until about days of pregnancy.
The fetus sex can be determined by day 70 of the gestation using ultrasound. Halfway through gestation the fetus is the size of between a rabbit and a beagle.
Colts are carried on average about 4 days longer than fillies. Domestic mares receive specific care and nutrition to ensure that Intimidating man appaloosa stud books and their foals are healthy. Mares are given vaccinations against diseases such as the Rhinopneumonitis EHV-1 virus which can cause abortions as well as vaccines for other conditions that may occur in a given region of the world.
Pre-foaling vaccines are recommended 4—6 weeks prior to foaling to maximize the immunoglobulin content of the colostrum in the first milk.
Mares can be used for riding or driving during most of their pregnancy. Exercise is healthy, though should be moderated when a mare is heavily in foal. During the first several months "Intimidating man appaloosa stud books" pregnancy, the nutritional requirements do not increase significantly since the rate of growth of the fetus is very slow.
However, during this time, the mare may be provided supplemental vitamins and minerals, particularly if forage quality is questionable. During the last 3—4 months of gestation, rapid growth of the fetus increases the mare's nutritional requirements. Energy requirements during these last few months, and during the first few months of lactation are similar to those of a horse in full training.
Trace minerals such as copper are extremely important, particularly during the tenth month of pregnancy, for proper skeletal formation. Mares due to foal are usually separated from other horses, both for the benefit of the mare and the safety of the soon-to-be-delivered foal. In addition, separation allows the mare to be monitored more closely by humans for any problems that may occur while giving birth.
Intimidating man appaloosa stud books the northern hemisphere a special foaling stall that is large and clutter free is frequently used, particularly by major breeding farms. this was due in part to a need for protection from the harsh winter climate present when mares foal early in the year, but even in moderate climates, such as Floridafoaling stalls are still common because they allow closer monitoring of mares.
Smaller breeders often use a small pen with a large shed for foaling, or they may remove a wall between two box stalls in a small barn to make a large stall. In the milder climates seen in much of the southern hemispheremost mares foal outside, often in a paddock   built specifically for foaling, especially on the larger stud farms. On the other hand, some breeders, particularly those in remote areas or with extremely large numbers of horses, may allow mares to foal out in a field amongst a herd, but may also see higher rates of foal and mare mortality in doing so.